PACRA Maintains Entity Ratings of Lotte Kolson (Pvt.) Limited
The ratings reflect Lotte Kolson (Pvt.) Limited’s ('Lotte Kolson' or 'the Company') association with Lotte Corporation, one of the biggest conglomerates of South Korea. Though food industry remained operational since Covid-19 outbreak, however, demand for snacks and confectionery remain low due to closure of schools and malls. The Company's revenue growth remained limited mainly due to government's regulation on unregistered distributors and an overall contraction in demand in snacks segment. Utilization of the Company’s state-of-the-art ‘Choco Pie’ plant remains low, though improving, due to slow market pick up of the product despite aggressive marketing campaigns. Business margins improved despite increase in raw material costs leading to profits at gross and operational level. The Company is focusing on changing its sales mix to higher margin products, such as pasta, and increasing capacity utilization of new plant through product innovation. The financial profile of the Company is characterized by strong working capital management due to its cash based sales and a moderately leveraged capital structure with long term loan at fixed rate. Loan deferment facility introduced by SBP provide during Covid-19 outbreak provided the necessary respite, however, coverages are still weak as the Company's cashlfows are under pressure. The ratings draw comfort from the sponsor's financial strength, guidance on managing interest rate fluctuation and demonstrated ability to provide support, if needed.
The ratings are dependent on the Company’s ability to improve sales, margins and profitability. Increasing capacity utilization of new plant and gaining traction of newly introduced products will be important. Any further deterioration in margins and/or coverages will exert pressure on the ratings. Continued support from Lotte Confectionery, technically and financially, is critical for ratings.
Lotte Kolson (Private) Limited was incorporated in March, 1975. The Company was formerly known as KS Sulemanji Esmailiji & Sons (Private) Limited and was acquired by Lotte Corporation in 2014. Primary business activity of the Company involves manufacture and sale of five product categories, namely, i) Snacks, ii) Biscuits, iii) Pasta, iv) Cakes, and v) Gum The Company has six production facilities concentrated in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
Major shareholding (96.5%) lies with Lotte Confectionery, a subsidiary of Lotte Corporation which is one of the biggest conglomerates of South Korea. Remaining shareholding (3.5%) lies with Mr. Dong Bin Shin, Chairman of Lotte Corporation. The Company is headed by Mr. Khayyam Rajpoot, who is the Chief Executive Officer. He is ably supported by a professional management team.